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Old 10-21-2010, 03:07 PM   #196
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by ArthDuro
wordsmith I tell ya
i'm wordsmithing like a maniac, new episode this evening.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:10 PM   #197
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Great RR on the Rock. Thanks

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Old 10-21-2010, 05:29 PM   #198
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Day 17: Monday 9/6/10-J.T.CheesemanProvincialPark, NL, to Meat Cove, NS. 128 miles

It was still dark in under the trees as I packed up the gear, but the sky held some promise for the start of the day.



The other guys were also up, a scramble going on under headlamp light. Set to go, but we’re missing a man on a mission to the bathhouse, gotta run, I don’t want to get crossed up with the unforgiving ferry reservation system, see ya there. A short run down to the ferry landing and check in, the Vermont guys ride in right behind me, good, we’re all on.



Now the waiting game, I’m not much on wasting time in lines. Mark fixes my camera that I’m too dumb to figure out myself, then I can get a shot of Roman’s “the sticker man” pannier, he’s got one to cover every scenario.



First one ferry, false alarm, and then another that we finally board. Let’s get this show on the road, so to speak.





The ferry we end up with is the fast one, our crossing time will be cut by a third. With these big ass car ferrys, fast is very much a relative term. We’re the last to board, and strap the bikes down to the deck plates, not a rough crossing, they should stay put. This is a good sized ship and not quite to capacity, but there is a crowd of people on here, take my word for it. The high speed Cat used to run this route, but I think it ran over one too many fishing boats and they pulled it out of service. I think they sold it to Cuba for those upcoming high speed runs to Miami.

Homes built right next to the harbor entrance, it must be wicked in that neighborhood when the wind blows.



The lighthouse and keepers cottage completes the picture, both built on sold rock.



Just about everyone on the ferry has a laptop, most with Facebook lit up, notifying everyone about…who knows, I’m not into that junk. The ship does have complimentary computers for the poor people to use, that’s where I head, geek city. There’s a 15 minute timer on the machines which most people are ignoring, except when some 300 pound dude is standing right behind them tapping a steel toed boot and making strangling motions with his hands. Gee, now I have my choice of machines, how dat happen? Get caught up on some email, couple posts to the bike forums, and I’m done. The internet connection is so slow I could have sent notes by carrier pigeon and they would have gotten there sooner. Hey, what’s for lunch?

Mark tracked me down, they were going to do the ship’s buffet, fine with me. The food was pretty darn good, and they had all kinds of things for dessert, four different pies. I ate half of one apple pie, the stewards were packing things up, didn’t want that pie to go to waste.

Land is in sight and I’m ready to get off this boat. The last time I was on a ferry up here they had movies and slot machines, some pretty hard drinking going on too. This crossing was tame by that standard. Back down to the car deck, the bikes still standing, gear on, bike started. Get me outta this exhaust, I feel like I’m breathing tar. I did some creative line cutting, a jog here, a jog there, and could see daylight, cooped up no longer.

I zip around the corner and wait for the other guys, but not for long, here they come. These guys definitely ride faster than I do, and I eventually let them go in heavy traffic. I knew where they were going, might see them again. Did I mention that I don’t have a decent map of Nova Scotia? It might look like I’m just bumbling along, but heck, here I am again, just where I wanted to be.

I had been on the Cabot Trail about twenty years ago and nothing stands still that long, but I was uncertain what I would find. I can already see much more traffic than I remembered, not a good way to start. I didn’t feel like hurrying along, not many miles to go. The first overlook is crowded with vehicles, but I stop anyway. The view is across the inland countryside, and quite beautiful.



There was a big motorhome parked in front of me, two elderly couples intent on a serious task…defacing the guardrail with big black markers, permanent remembrances to those that follow…what kind of dumbass deal is this? Everywhere you look in developed areas are billboards that say “This is your land, take care of it”. A Canadian plate on that RV, the message lost on them.

One of the strategies to riding the Cabot is to travel CCW, that way the ocean is always on your right, makes sense, although stopping along many stretches of the road can be hazardous in traffic. There’s plenty of traffic, hell with it, I stop anyway.



There’s just too much to see, can’t be helped.



The road winds back down to sea level and skirts a large salt marsh, I like those too.



The traffic backs up in some road construction, and I’ve caught back up to the other guys.



The couple in the car in front of me is making out furiously, well past the “just get a room” stage, and I toot the horn, let’s move that thing. When the guy straightens up in the seat, damn, he’s as big as an NFL lineman and looks annoyed. Oops, and I give a little wave, might be able to lane split if I need to get away, better put some duct tape over that button.

There’s a country store on the left near Ingonish and everyone pulls in for a break. There’s a 50ish couple from Sidney relaxing on the porch bench taking in the activity. The guy had been down to Virginia Beach on business and knew just about where I lived. The woman was a beauty, raven hair with a few streaks of gray, clear eyed and confident in her laughter. Much jousting back and forth, but I had to run, the guys were leaving. I kept up for awhile, but then got caught behind some slow traffic and gave up.

The Cabot was spectacular when I went through 20 years ago and is still a great road. The problem is that during that long period I have been on so many other roads and the Cabot has slipped a little due to traffic and development. What hasn’t changed is the view, still worth seeing.







I need to start picking up the pace, my destination was now Meat Cove, near Cape St.Lawrence, and I might just be able to make it before dark. I consulted my map of Nova Scotia, the economy version, 4 by 6 inches, where’s my microscope, I need to find that place pronto. Let’s try this road, looks about right, and I rode off towards Dingwall, but never found that either.

I did find two old guys standing in the middle of the road, deep into some complex subject requiring lots of hand gestures. Very surprised when I rode up, more surprised when I stopped and shut off the bike. “Do you know of a place called Meat Cove?” “Oh yes, I know Meat Cove”, but then he stopped, as if considering whether to give me the double super secret directions on how to get there. This old guy had ears as big as his head, boar bristles growing out of both. Maybe I need a password, or maybe one of them complicated secret society handshakes. Then he said, “Ya know, you Yanks seem to get lost a lot”. Ok, this Yank gets lost on occasion, freakin’ A man, just point me in the right freakin’ direction. The other fella must have sensed the storm brewing behind my smile, stepped in and said “It’s across the Bay, around the Cape”, and pointed out towards the water. Damn, that looks a long ways off, the Cape almost lost in the mist, seems a hundred miles. He went on to give me landmarks for the turn, I’m good. So long guys, been a real freakin’ pleasure, and backtracked out to the highway.

(To be continued…)
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:35 PM   #199
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Day 17: Continued

I found the turnoff at CapeNorth, have to hurry now, the sun was getting low. I nearly get hit by a school bus in the very first sharp curve in this road, the woman driver had cut the corner from the other direction. What next? The road ends up following NorthHarbour, and I’m back along the head of this large bay, the AspyRiver cutting channels on it’s way to the ocean.





The road turned inland and I was on the move, shooting past several tiny villages along the way. On a straight piece of road, there a car on the shoulder, and when I get closer it lights up like a Christmas tree, strobes and flashers, a cop running radar way the hell out here. I might as well just hand him the keys to the bike, I was runnin’ only about 140kph on this rural road. When I pulled alongside his car, he rolled down the window, but didn’t say anything, huh, what’s this about? I guess no ticket, not going to get the bike confiscated, I think I’ll be sociable and ask directions. “Meat Cove”?

Around the corner and on the gas again, had my anti-radar force field thing workin’, right back to 140, shadows across the road. When I get back to the ocean at Bay St.Lawrence, CapeNorth is to the east.



Meat Cove is beyond Black Point to the west.



I’m in a hurry, but I can’t ride past this.



I find the Meat Cove turnoff after asking one more time, just about giving some poor woman a heart attack when I suddenly appeared at her driver’s window. Yeah, I know, but the road wasn’t marked well. This road is gravel all the way to the end, and I had heard that there were extensive road repairs underway. The road is roughly graded, with numerous construction zones and bridge work. Sure it was rough, but short and relatively easy by northern standards.

Meat Cove was in the shadows by the time I reach the end of the road. This is a really cool destination, if you can find it, hah.



The Vermont guys are here, set up down below the road, and other riders too. Then I see Martin, unbelievable. The gang’s all here. There were some other campers, but everyone is pretty well spread out across the grassy slope. I’m going to set my tent near the top, great view all the way around.



There’s a small café, and the owner’s daughter graciously keeps it open so we can all have dinner and drink up most of their beer. Martin and his wife show up for dinner, and it turned out it was Martin I saw out by Raleigh on the NorthernPeninsula in Newfoundland. He was trying to find a B&B someone told him about. Let’s see now, Meat Cove, great weather, fine cook working overtime, cold beer, and a congenial dinner group…did I leave anything out.

The sun is down and campfires are flickering here and there across the slope. The guys are all standing around the fire, the price of admission being the ability to tell outrageous lies, the more outrageous the better. Liquor helps. There’s also a rider from Nova Scotia, Fred, camping with his wife, also a rider. When I asked Fred if he came up here often, he said “First time, saw it mentioned in a ride report on ADV”, bizarre or what? There were riders from three different countries standing around that fire, all members on ADV. I called it a day, wanted to be up early. If there was a memorable place to catch the sunrise, this would be it.

I was sleeping on solid rock again, the grass over the top was just for a little decoration. After 6000 miles, this was a turning point, no more northern sprints on this trip. If I have to turn south, let it be from here….

(To be continued…)
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:32 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by jdrocks
I got up at 5 eastern time, but it already [/FONT][/COLOR][/B]6:30[B][COLOR=#FF9900][FONT=Arial] local, I still don’t know about that extra 30 minute deal. The only comment I’ve heard about it so far was “Those bastards over in...
it is funny how little things like this sentence bring back great childhood memories.

Growing up in Canada as a kid when a TV commercial came on (on one of our 3 channels) it would say:

"Watch the Beach Combers Sunday night at 8pm... 8:30 in Newfoundland"

"8:30 in Newfoundland" - I can't count how many times I heard that sentence and never noticed it as "surely every country has a half hour time zone don't they?"

...of course with childhood logic I always assumed that -40 degree Fahrenheit and -40 degrees Celsius met matched on the thermometer for convenience sake - so when we (frequently) exclaimed "it is negative 40 again this morning" - we didn't have to say which scale we were looking at

Ignore me while I blather on.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:37 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by jdrocks
Conspicuous in all of these towns are the new homes, some with designs straight from the pages of Stateside magazines, indicating money coming home from the [/FONT][/COLOR][/B]Alberta[B][COLOR=#FF9900][FONT=Arial] oil and gas operations. I was never able to get a handle on how many Newfys moved west permanently, or are working out there and flying back and forth, but it must be a significant number.
You know how Quebec had a referendum a few years back about separating from Canada?

The Newfie's were all hoping it would happen so it'd be a shorter drive to Alberta


(hey.. I lived in nfld for 4 years so I can make newfie jokes )

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Old 10-22-2010, 03:23 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by yellowknife
Great RR on the Rock.
thanks. fantastic place for a ride, i going back.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:10 AM   #203
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by Geek
"surely every country has a half hour time zone don't they?"
i hate to break the news.

it's a mess with ferrys sailing on Newfy time, especially Blanc Sablon where there's that little corner of Labrador on the Newfy 30 minute time difference, while the rest of Labrador is on the same time as Quebec.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:14 AM   #204
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(hey.. I lived in nfld for 4 years so I can make newfie jokes )

as a non resident, i remember what i was told "You can use the term "Newfy", just be sensible about what you say afterwards".
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:04 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks
it's a mess with ferrys sailing on Newfy time, especially Blanc Sablon where there's that little corner of Labrador on the Newfy 30 minute time difference, while the rest of Labrador is on the same time as Quebec.
Actually, the rest of Labrador is on the same time as Nova Scotia (Atlantic time), while Quebec is on Eastern time, so when you pass from Labrador into Blanc Sablon, the clock jumps an hour and a half. Inconvenient!

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Old 10-22-2010, 02:08 PM   #206
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Actually, the rest of Labrador is on the same time as Nova Scotia (Atlantic time), while Quebec is on Eastern time, so when you pass from Labrador into Blanc Sablon, the clock jumps an hour and a half. Inconvenient!

--mark
that's right. my watch was still left on eastern time, i got up pretty early to get my ferry ticket.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:33 PM   #207
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ice fishing in Newfoundland

My wife is from the rock so i can tell this joke with diplomatic immunity.

Her father told the story about a guy doing some ice fishing. He drilled a hole in the ice and dropped down his line. Suddenly he heard a voice from above "there is no fish in that hole". So he moved over 10 feet, drilled a new hole, no sooner had he dropped in his line and the same voice said "there is no fish in that hole". so he moved a further ten feet. drilled a new hole and dropped in his line again to catch a fish. The voice from above called down, "there is no fish in that hole either".

The fisherman said "is that you God".
The voice from above said "No, this is the manager of the ice rink.



Glad to hear you will revisit the rock. you had interesting weather to say the least. Look into Fogo and chain Islands next time as i hear they are very good to visit. Take care and hope you don't mind the hijack.

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Old 10-23-2010, 08:26 AM   #208
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My wife is from the rock so i can tell this joke with diplomatic immunity.





Glad to hear you will revisit the rock.

heard plenty of Newfy jokes up there, must be a national pastime.

when was your Meat Cove photo taken, nobody home? it was full when i went through there.

i'd like to get back again, but likely west in 2011.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #209
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Great RR JD! Your bike has inspired me and I just purchased a 2007 Ninja 650 with the intent of turning it into an adventure bike with off-road capabilities. I have a question about the cool lookin ride you built. You have alot of gear on the back, did you modify the sub-frame in any way for that load?

By the way, this will not be the last question about the bike .
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:54 PM   #210
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You have alot of gear on the back, did you modify the sub-frame in any way for that load?

By the way, this will not be the last question about the bike .
thanks, build your bike and head north.

subframe is fine. it's strong enough to carry a passenger and i never have that much weight back there.

i'm thinking about selling this latest bike and building a new one, another winter project.
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